I want to wish you all a very happy Groundhog Day. Can we say that? Do we wish people a happy Groundhog Day?
There are two things that come to my mind about this special occasion. 1) The length of winter is determined by what America’s most famous woodchuck, Punxsutawney Phil, sees when he pops his head out of the hole in the ground. And 2) channel hopping will bring you at least two stations televising “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray. This flick, which received a 96 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes (which means it is good), is one of my very favorites, and ever since it was released in 1993 I have watched it at least once a year.
I am also a big Bill Murray fan and you might be interested to know that, like me, he a very big lover of sports. Unlike me, he is part-owner of several minor league baseball teams. When we visited one of them, the Charleston Riverdogs, we learned that management incorporates humor into the games. On Father’s Day, they held a raffle during the seventh inning. The winner received a vasectomy. Near the end of the season the ball club set a record for the lowest attendance. Several thousand tickets were sold but heavy chains around the gates prevented fans from entering. According to the captions beneath the photos on display there, was zero attendance. The crowd was permitted to enter at the top of the fourth and to make up for the “mean treatment,” when everybody turned in their ticket stubs for free hot dogs and sodas.
Carol and I attended a game on “Cheapskate Night.” I received a free ticket by admitting why I was a cheapskate. It was fun listening to them announce “Stanley over in Section B is a cheapo because he carefully removes the wrapping paper from his Hanukkah gifts and saves it to be reused next year.”
Most of the comments were followed by boos. Mine received a smattering of hoots and a fairly large round of applause. There are probably a lot of Jewish baseball fans in Charleston.
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Even with the news that the amount of mail processed by the Postal Service is down to only 6,516 pieces every second, it is still the third-largest employer in the United States. With the upcoming closing of processing plants along with the dismissal of many, that rank will probably change. The second-largest employer in the nation is Walmart, which will probably move up into first place due to a reduction of employees by the largest employer in the United States, the Department of Defense. Any week now, the big sign outside of the Walmart Supercenter near us will shout “We’re number one!”
I love shopping at Wal-Mart. I always find a wide selection of fresh merchandise at competitive prices. I do not particularly care for shopping at the Supercenters. Those stores are big — really, really big. I picked up some cookies and Cokes on one side of the store and asked a clerk for the location of the bicycle accessories. He pointed to the wall way over on the far side of the store. That spot is about a five-mile walk from here. Will somebody please call me a cab?
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I enjoy watching college basketball. During last night’s game the commentator spoke about schedules.
“This particular team lost three nights ago. The next game is three nights from now. They will have played seven games this month.”
After looking up the school’s schedule, I couldn’t help but notice that half the games are being played many hundreds of miles away. Hey — these are college kids. When do they have time to attend classes? Between the games and the practice sessions, when do they study? I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net asking, aren’t they there to get an education?
Read Stanley Gershbein's column every Monday on BrooklynDaily.com.